Trio set to boost side as Benalla chases final spot

BENALLA and District Cricket Association is daring to dream after winning its second straight game in Division 2 at Melbourne Country Week.

A win in the final pool match today against Hamilton in Doncaster could give the small association a spot in tomorrow’s final, with yesterday’s four-wicket win against West Gippsland at Noble Park moving it to fourth in the eight-team division.

The BDCA last year won Division 3 but has not played in Provincial for more than a decade.

It will receive a significant boost for today’s defining game, with the star trio of Andrew Squires, Simon Holmes and Ben Milliken set to be rushed into the side.

“We are pretty excited to be in this position and hopefully things go well tomorrow,” captain James Saker said.

Jimmy Rathore was the star with the ball for Benalla, taking 3-30 from his eight overs, while Saker contributed a crucial 40 with the bat as the BDCA finished its 50 overs at 7-176, chasing 6-172.

“It was a great win,” Saker, who is the coach of Lavington Football Club, said.

“We were undermanned on paper but everyone had a crack, basically.

“We bowled well and had three blokes make 40s, which was enough to get us home.

“We’ve got a few boys coming up from Benalla to bolster our squad but we’ve still got to produce the goods.”

The Wangaratta and District Cricket Association also tasted success on day three.

Yarrawonga-Mulwala star Ash Saunders top-scored with 62 in the WDCA’s comfortable 205-run win against Colac at Elsternwick.